Jesse Marsch satisfied with Leeds United start to season despite dropping points at Southampton

Jesse Marsch is pleased with what he is seeing from his side despite seeing Leeds United drop two points after opening up a two-goal lead at Southampton.
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Rodrigo's two goals early in the second half seemed to have the Whites on course for a second victory from two Premier League games this season.

But Joe Aribo pulled a goal back for Southampston and the hosts earned a share of the spoils with Kyle Walker-Peters' goal nine minutes from time.

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"It felt like we had a real good performance and then you have to give credit to Ralph Hasenhuttle and Southampton, they made some changes and pushed the game. We didn't handle that well enough.

Rodrigo scored twice in Leeds United's draw with Southampton.Rodrigo scored twice in Leeds United's draw with Southampton.
Rodrigo scored twice in Leeds United's draw with Southampton.

"We would hope that when we're up 2-0 even away from home we would be able to close out the match. But obviously we weren't able to do that.

"We're going to get more guys fit and then we will be able to come with more power off the bench.

"But the feeling I have is major disappointment to give away two points, but also really positive - you can see we have a good team and the belief in the group is strong and the clarity as the way we want to play.

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"So for me even though it is only one point it's still a big step forward for us.

"I was happy with a lot of really good performances. We're moving forward.

"Rodrigo is playing outstanding, whether we use him in 10 role or striker role, he has had a really good pre-season. He's playing really, really well.

"And I thought Brenden Aaronson was outstanding, Marc Roca and Tyler Adams were outstanding and our three centre-backs. I thought we had a lot of really good performances.

"I would say I'm very satisfied."

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Key striker Patrick Bamford had to come off early with an injury, but Marsch dispelled fears that he would be out of action for long.

He added: "He had a little bit of a swelling in the adductor two days ago, but we felt like he was going to be okay.

"We don't think it's too bad and we're hopefully he'll be ready by next weekend."

After a quiet start it needed a good challenge from Diego Llorente to deny Southampton's Stuart Armstrong as he looked to race clear and VAR checks showed it had been a perfectly timed tackle by the visiting defender.

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Bamford had United's first effort when he flicked the ball wide at the near post while Armstrong sent a shot wide at the other end.Leeds lost Bamford to injury on 28 minutes with Dan James brought on for his first appearance of the season, initially playing up front before switching to attacking midfield after the break when Rodrigo went up top.

James almost made an immediate impact when he was sent through Jack Harrison, but his angled shot was well saved by Gavin Bazunu.

From the resulting corner a great chance to open the scoring came and went as Rodrigo flicked the ball on at the near post and the unmarked Rasmus Kristensen could not get much power into his header to see his effort easily saved.

United made a flying start to the second half to go ahead within a minute of the restart. Harrison's great low ball in from the left was clicked into the net at the near post by Rodrigo.

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Rodrigo came close with a looping header from a corner before he made no mistake from close range to make it 2-0 on the hour. The goal came from another Aaronson corner with Pascal Struijk heading the ball on at the near post.

Substitute Aribo gave warning that he was looking to make an impact after coming on as he had a shot in the box blocked. He then pulled a goal back when allowed freedom in the box to take his time to score from Adam Armstrong's low ball across.

Southampton made it 2-2 when more poor marking allowed Walker-Peters to sneak in behind the Leeds defence to beat Meslier from an angle.

Meslier did well to save a powerful shot from Sekou Mara soon after as Saints threatened a win that had looked unlikely.

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But Leeds had the last chance and almost snatched a winner themselves as Rodrigo's shot had to be well saved after he had been cleverly found by Mateusz Klich.

Southampton 2(Aribo 72, Walker-Peters 81)Leeds United 2(Rodrigo 46, 60)Saturday, August 13, 2022Premier LeagueSouthampton: Bazunu; Walker-Peters, Bella-Kotchap, Salisu, Bednarek (Mara 70), Djenepo (Stephens 90); Ward-Prowse , Lavia, S Armstrong (Aribo 61); Adams, Elyounoussi (A Armstrong 61).Leeds: Meslier; Kristensen, Koch, Llorente, Struijk; Roca (Forshaw 88), Adams; Aaronson, Rodrigo, Harrison (Klich 84); Bamford (James 28, Sinisterra 84).Referee: Tony Harrington.